Author Archives: Box690

July 17, 2012

It was the hottest day ever yesterday for July17, and we continued to be very busy. After doing 7 calls in the previous 10 days, we had a triple header yesterday. The second call turned out to be our biggest call ever in terms of what we used.

 The day started at 7:30 am when Kitchener toned out Baden for an MVC in Petersburg involving a farm tractor pulling two empty hay wagons. Once on scene Baden reported the two trailers had detached from the tractor and had sheered a high voltage pole in two. The trailer ended up inches from taking out the gas meter on the house. The tenant of the house was sleeping in the bedroom at the front of the house where the meter was. The pole dropped about four feet. There were three 26,000 volt lines on the pole that supplied power to 50% of Wilmot Township. The lines came in contact with a number of large trees which began to smoke. A hand line was pulled from P1 and firefighters cooled the trees. A port a pond was set up and water was shuttled from Shingletown about five miles from the scene. New Dundee’s tanker was requested to supplement water supply. While crews were keeping the trees from catching fire, they received a call for another MVC on Erbs Rd. P2 and R7 responded from the scene. They returned back to the original scene after dealing with fluid leaks and stabilizing one patient. We had two members on scene 1.5 hours and served 40 drinks and 50 snacks. The photo below shows how close the trailer was to the house. The wheel is resting on the gas meter.

After attending the call above, I headed back to our station to reload the food tray which belonged to our Baden member, and to reload my cooler. We were just out the back of the hall getting into our cars when the tones went out at 10:20 for a wood shop on fire at 2936 Arthur St N, just north of Elmira. The following units were dispatched on the first alarm, Floradale, pumper, tanker, rescue, Elmira P1 P2 R1 and A3, St Jacobs tanker, and Conestoga tanker. Floradale reported heavy black smoke showing from their hall. At this point I jumped in our truck and radioed dispatch to let them know we were responding. Floradale is very familiar with their area and in fact this same shop burned down July 1 1995. On route to the fire, Floradale district Chief Dennis Frey (501) was already setting up water supply for the fire. He asked Elmira Pump 1 to draft from Sittler’s recycling which is the property south of the fire. Once on scene 501 took command and asked for Conestoga’s rescue and pumper. Firefighters had a large hard wood flooring manufacturing business fully involved. The building was approximately 100 x 80. The first half hour of the fire was extremely busy for crews. A large shed to the rear of the building approximately 100 x 20, which was full of skids of wood was well involved. Grass was starting to burn behind that structure. There were a number of 53’ trailers parked beside the building and one or two that were well involved (could not see that side of the fire due to heavy smoke). Piles of wood to the north of the building were also well involved. Getting water supply was the priority at this fire. Floradale pumper pulled into the front of the building and lines were stretched around the structure. A port a tank was set up beside their truck. Two 1.5” lines were stretched to the rear, a 2.5” to a monitor at the front, two 2.5 inch lines to the E3 side, one Y’d into two 1.5” lines. Command requested the balance of St Jacobs to the scene. Initially St Jacobs pumper was going to draft from the pond at Sittler’s to fill tankers. Firefighters hand laid over 1,000 feet of high vol through a field on the E2 side of the fire from Floradale’s pumper, and down into the Sittler’s yard where an additional 1,000 feet of high vol was needed to complete the feed to Elmira P1. Once St Jacobs arrived on scene, their pumper was set up on Arthur St. and a 4” line was laid into Floradale’s pumper. A port a tank was set up on the road which made it easier for tankers to shuttle water. Chief Fry sent me a note today, best guess was 45 loads from the tankers. I think they used more than that as the three tankers ran steady for six hours.

Firefighters were able to knock the fire down in the rear shed and piles of wood to the north in about 30 minutes. The main building burned for hours as it was loaded with large skids of wood. As well, a 90 foot high Cyclone at the rear of the building was smoking. Elmira A3 was set up in the rear of the building about 3 pm to cool the tower down. They used 3% foam to lightly water the inside of the hopper. They didn’t want to put too much water into the unit. A high hoe was brought in to pull the wood piles and building apart. Once the bulk of the fire in the main building was knocked down, crews cautiously went to work on the Cyclone. Four firefighters in SCBA with two charged lines were readied near the Cyclone. The unit was opened very slowly to allow the sawdust to drop out. The sawdust was soaked down and moved by the high hoe. The fire was declared out at 7 pm.

Due to the heat of the day, I set up four of our cooling chairs. We also set up our two tents for shade. Initially I set them up together, but was asked to move one over to shade the Floradale pump operator. More than 60 firefighters were on scene. They would work 10-15 minutes and were sent to rehab. I had our Baden member swing by the fire hall on her way to the fire. I asked her to pick up all the freezies we had and pick up additional water and Gatorade. Floradale women’s auxiliary arrived on scene around noon hour. They brought 100 assorted cold juice and water with them. They asked what they could do to help. We asked them to make up sandwiches and bring up watermelon and apples. They made up 60 sandwiches to start and could only find one watermelon in town. They picked up some melons and cut them to add to the watermelon. They dropped the sandwiches off at 2 pm. At 3:30 we had an additional member available to come to the scene. He picked up the balance of our drinks that were in our fire hall fridge. We could not run drinks back to rehab fast enough. The ladies auxiliary brought an additional 140 cold water, 90 sandwiches, two watermelons to the scene at 5:30. We also asked them to bring additional ice with them as we were now pulling out our reserve non refrigerated drinks from the truck. Two firefighters were treated for heat stroke. On average each firefighter had a minimum of nine drinks. I personally drank 10 assorted drinks during the afternoon. This was the biggest call we have ever had. Once we added up the drinks, we served 215 Gatorade, 380 water, and 51 juice. We cooked up 72 hot dogs, 250 snacks, and 60 freezies (would have been more but that’s all we had). There were other food items brought to the scene by the local Mennonite community, but we didn’t keep track of that. To make the sandwiches, 15 loaves of bread, 150 slices of cold cuts, 6 head of lettuce, lots of tomatoes, and five packages of sliced cheese where used. The help we received from the Floradale auxiliary was greatly appreciated. We would have had to run into Elmira to pick up food, ice and more drinks without their help. Photo here shows fire through the roof, approximately 50 minutes on scene. I took a few shots a little later after I got caught up setting up rehab.

Our day was not over yet. Kitchener dispatched P7 Tanker 1 R1 and Car 23 to a large field fire on Plains Rd near Fischer Hallman at 4:50 pm.. P7 arrived on scene and pulled out in the field. They had a large fire to contend with. P6 was added to the call for manpower. The fire was knocked down in 20 minutes. Command knew we were up at the fire on Arthur St and let the crews know that he was going to get some water. We had a member that had left work and had already picked up some cold drinks at his home (there were no drinks left at the hall) and was five minutes away from the scene. He radioed dispatch to let them know he would be there shortly. We served 27 drinks and 7 food items at this call.

Wellesley’s new tanker, 2012 International 400 gpm, 2500 gallons water:


Here are more photos from the Weimer Line Training Exercise.
If you’d like a copy of any of them, please use the contact form, or leave a comment on this post.

Weimar Line Training

Box 690 was on scene during a training activity on Weimar Line. Click the photo below to go to the gallery. More photos being added soon!

3438 Weimar Line-124

Edworthy Sideroad fire

Click the photo for more pictures from a fire on Edworthy Sideroad.

IMG_1523Edworthy Side Rd

9/11 Memorial


Photo gallery updated

New photos are up! Click the photo below to go to the Box690 Flickr site!

Funeral procession for Captain William Duncan.

Our condolences to his family, friends, and firefighting family.

New Rehab Truck

The new Box 690 Rehab Truck.


In January of 2010, 6902’s transmission failed. The cost to effect repairs was deemed too high and 6902 was retired after many years of reliable, active service and eventually decommissioned. Canteen service continued uninterrupted, using members personal vehicles, reminiscent of the early days without a dedicated truck.

Coincidentally, Wilmot Township had purchased a new replacement unit for New Dundee Rescue #27. Wilmot Township donated the retiring Rescue #27 to Box 690 and it has been reworked into a replacement field kitchen dubbed “6903”. A 6500 watt generator (donated by Cambridge Fire) and new wiring system have been installed. The interior has been remodeled into a kitchen configuration complete with microwave, fluorescent lighting, and multiple electric outlets for coffeemaker, fry pan, electric kettle etc.

6903 is a 1986 International/Dependable which served until late 1993 in the City of Waterloo as Rescue #1. Purchased by Wilmot Township when Waterloo adopted the rescue/pumper concept, the unit was assigned to New Dundee station as Rescue #27 where it served until early 2010.

6903 went into service on 17 August 2010 and worked its inaugural call less than 24 hours later attending a storage/garage building fire on Fountain St., Cambridge, just after midnight. 6903 functioned flawlessly and has attended a number of incidents and events since, with rave reviews as to its efficiency, comfort, and convenience.

6903 is sponsored and maintained through an arrangement with the City of Kitchener and with continuing support of Kitchener Fire, Cambridge Fire, Waterloo Fire and fire departments of Wilmot, Woolwich, Wellesley, and North Dumfries townships.

Box 690 – 100%volunteer since 1988.

Celebrating 20 years!!

Congratulations to all the hard-working and dedicated members of Box 690 for 20 years of service to Waterloo Region’s firefighters!

Cambridge Fire Museum

Cambridge Fire Museum